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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Intro... Howdy, y'all

    I just went for the first ride on my first bike in 15+ years & I am wiped out... from 1.9 miles of riding (in 100+ degree heat at 7pm - gotta love Texas).

    I'm 31 years old and have gained about 45lbs in the last 10 years with my wife (weighed in at 225lbs today - 6' 3"). I've tried a few forms of exercise, but get bored too easily & make excuses to quit. About a week ago I started looking at bikes - I ride motorcycles for fun, so the transition to a bicycle seems logical.

    I went to the LBS & read a lot here before realizing this was going to cost a bit more than I had imagined. After my realization, I explained to the bike shop that I was planning to buy a used bike on my own & offered to pay for a fitting & a bit of education - they helped me out & explained what (in general) I needed to look for... free of charge. Yesterday I picked up a used bike in great condition, then went back to the bike shop for accessories (helmet, air pump, etc).

    I'm in this mostly for fitness, but I expect that I'll enjoy getting out for a ride. My current goal is to be 200lbs by the end of the year, then I'll see where I go from there (I was skin & bones at 180lbs).

    How long does it take to build up endurance? 1.9 miles just about killed me! I planned to head out to a freshly paved road with a nice wide shoulder to ride on, but that's 2.5 miles(!!!) from my house.
    Last edited by rball5; 10-07-09 at 07:17 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Smoked's Avatar
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    welcome to the fray!!! What part of Texas are you in for starters??

    Everyone is different in terms on how long it takes to build up your fitness level...

    When I stopped getting on the bike 2 years ago I was over 20+ miles at a time on my hybrid, when I started a few weeks ago, 6 miles tore me up, now I am over 15 and pushing 20 again..

    Find some folks to bike with, it helps motivate and push you further.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    From one Texas newb to another, howdy! I started out a couple of months ago with 2-3 mile rides, and have built up a bit. Did 13 miles this morning, my longest to date.

    Which part of the Lone Star State do you call home? I'm in NW Houston.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
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    Thanks for the welcomes

    I'm just north of Austin (Cedar Park). I guess I've got a few months to go before I feel like I'm really going anywhere.

    I learned after I bought my bike that some friends I ride motorcycles with just picked up bikes as well - though I don't if they got road bikes, mountain bikes, or other bikes. We'll ride together soon (well... as soon as I can make the 3 mile ride from my house to theirs ).

  5. #5
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    Welcome...I just started a few weeks ago and I rode 43 miles yesterday and another 30 this morning. I started out riding with a few guys at work, going about 9 miles a day for the first couple of days, taking over 40 minutes. Oh, I am 5'11" and was 237 then, down to 220 now. Now we ride 12-14 miles in about 45-50 minutes. This includes going over one bridge that HURTS, but is definitely a workout. Everyone builds their endurance at a different pace, but being only 33 I can't imagine it would take you too long to build that up.

    Also, my buddy at work said that it doesn't matter how fast you go, it's how long you are on the bike, keeping your heart rate elevated. Keep riding, enjoy yourself, and you will be doing centuries before you know it!

  6. #6
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    Your endurance will build up fast if you keep at it regularly. Ride around 4x a week and you'll improve quickly. Use the beginning rides to make sure your saddle's adjusted properly. Your butt will be sore, but you shouldn't experience any numbness. If you do, adjust the saddle (up, down, level, back, forwards).
    HHCMF - Take pride in your ability to amaze lesser mortals! - MikeR



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  7. #7
    foolishly delirious RatedZeroHero's Avatar
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    just ride...

    I started out on just unmeasured rides...

    then I went out of my way to attack all the hills in my town...

    then I started doing 6 miles... then 8 then 8 twice a day and poof 21 miles in less than a month!!!

    all that cause 30 pounds of eye watering blubber to magically disappear...

    all in under a month!!! plus I have been doing mountain bike "fitness checks" and i am gaining strength and endurance that I wasn't sure I had before... and they sure are fun rides!!! (except when equipment failure rains on parade...)

    cheers!

  8. #8
    Senior Member El Gigante's Avatar
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    Hey Rball5 - welcome to the forums. First of all, congratulations on your bike purchase and decision to exercise and watch your diet. Its a great investment in your health!! Like some of the other posters have said, consistency is the key. Its ok. not to be able to hop on the bike and do a century right out of the gate. Set a goal of riding at least 3X a week, (or 2X or 1X, whatever you're comfortable with and can commit to), and make sure you do it. Being in the Lone Star state, hydration is also super important - make sure you always have water when you ride, and bring extra for longer trips. And most importantly, MSTDASY (Make Sure The Dumb Ass Sees You...), any time you are on the road.

    I was in your shoes about two years ago, (except with an extra 5 lbs. and 20 years on you), when I decided to start biking. I now average about 70 miles a week and have put 2891 miles on my bike since I started. I still tip the scales around 205 - that last 10 lbs. is a killer!! - and have never felt better in my life. If an old fart like me can drop almost 30 lbs. by riding a bike, you should have no trouble.
    El Gigante


    BTW - the BF is a great place to look for information, advice, commiseration, and just about anything else you need to know about two wheeled transportation. Its a great resource, so use it well.

  9. #9
    foolishly delirious RatedZeroHero's Avatar
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    another thing I'd do was ride as fast as I could for as long as I could... normally across town each way..(1.3 - 2.0 miles each way)

    out town was built around Sweetwater Creek so I can ride up and down the hills that make the banks...

    done lots of that stuff standing and they are small hills! but I hunted them out and would ride a S pattern up and down...

    yup ride ride and ride some more...

  10. #10
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    Howdy rball5. I'm just North of Dallas and just a bit outside of Plano.

    The key as stated earlier is decide when you are going to ride and stick to it. Don't get caught up in the distance or speed, those things will take care of themselves. Just ride what you can and remeber it's further than not riding. Running yourself into the ground and setting new personal best for levels of discomfort will discourage you if you push too hard early on.

    Don't worry, after a while you will intentionally put yourself in the pain cave just to see how long you can take it Maybe a better way to put it is after a while you will enjoy testing your limits

    I suppose being so close to Austin you are a McBevo fan. It's OK, we all have our imperfections

    Gig'em!

  11. #11
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    Well, I'm back from ride #2. It was more than double the distance of my first ride (5 miles this time), 10 degrees cooler outside, and MUCH easier - I guess getting used to shifting wasted some energy on the first ride.

    I stopped this time when the next "hill" intimidated me. I never would've called 'em hills until I experienced them on a bicycle (I hit 29mph down one of them!).

    So far so good... I'm likeing the biking!

    (btw, I won't be annoying & post everytime I ride... but I am keeping a spreadsheet to track my progress)

  12. #12
    Old Fart gapwedge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rball5 View Post
    Well, I'm back from ride #2. It was more than double the distance of my first ride (5 miles this time), 10 degrees cooler outside, and MUCH easier - I guess getting used to shifting wasted some energy on the first ride.

    I stopped this time when the next "hill" intimidated me. I never would've called 'em hills until I experienced them on a bicycle (I hit 29mph down one of them!).

    So far so good... I'm likeing the biking!

    (btw, I won't be annoying & post everytime I ride... but I am keeping a spreadsheet to track my progress)
    Welcome. At 56 6' 0" and 253 pounds I am taking longer than most to get my cardio back in shape, but I can cruise now around 14-16 mph and the hills are getting a little easier. I record my cycling and walking on http://www.fitnessjournal.org. I also sometimes wear a Polar HRM to make sure my average HR after my ride is up in the 70% of max range and also monitor my Max HR going up hills. At 56 I don't want to fall over dead climbing a hill, though I can think of worse ways to kill over.
    Age: 59

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    Old Fart Cycling Club "Age and Treachery will always triumph Youth and Agility"

    June 2012 weight 265
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  13. #13
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    You live in a great area to ride. I spent a long weekend camping at Emma long Park last year and enjoyed riding the trail and roads around the park. There are some lungbustin hills.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
    May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. -Edward Abbey

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    Welcome! I just joined the forum not too long ago and it's been a great encouragement!

    I hear what you're saying about "hills" that you wouldn't have noticed before! I just started cycling about a month or so ago and there are parts of the road that I didn't even realize were hills until I was pedaling up them! I'll tell you though...it's an awesome feeling when you can feel the difference as you get stronger and faster.

  15. #15
    Bicycle n00B
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    Welcome. I started riding again in May, and have been commuting to school since early June. Took me a good month to build up to the 10-mile one-way commute ride, and even then I was wiped out after the ride home most days. Now, I ride to school, cool down takes 15-20 minutes (just enough time to unpack bags and change clothes). Ride home is mostly enjoyable now, too.

    Keep riding, take it easy and build up at your own pace. Before you know it, you'll be spinning up hills and wondering what's around that corner up there.
    I reserve the right to be wrong at any time. :D

    Man does not live by bread alone, that's why God made ice cream.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the welcomes!

    My riding is over for now. As I left my house for my last ride, the chain came off - I didn't think much of it & reinstalled the chain. After this incident the chain was noisy & wouldn't shift so I headed back home for inspection. The cable-end for the rear shifter somehow came out of it's normal position & wedged itself inside into the (right-side) shifter assembly - the cable didn't break, but rather folded over itself & did a nice job of wedging everything into an unreachable spot.

    I've always been a DIY guy, so without thinking I started taking apart the rear shift lever to get to the cable end... When I heard the spring come loose I knew I'd made a mistake (how am I going to get this spring retensioned?). There was no amout of disassembly that would've got me to the stuck pieces AND now I've got a busted shifter. I made a tool to help get the spring back into position, but it seems like the shifter needs more spring tension than I've been able to give it.

    The bike is now at the bike shop but they don't think they'll be able to fix it since I've sprung the spring.

    I'm now looking at a $200 repair (my guess based on their $150 estimate for a new shifter) - so much for saving money by buying a used bike. I've got no idea how long it'll take them to get the new part in. They say they've seen this before (the cable issue) & that it's not an unheard of problem for Shimano components - I've got Tigara shifters with 105 derailers.

    Wishing I'd gone to Walmart instead of Craigslist

  17. #17
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    That $150 part will last as long as you own the bike. A good used bike is still better than a poorly made and poorly outfitted bike.
    HHCMF - Take pride in your ability to amaze lesser mortals! - MikeR



    We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!

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